1856 Farmer’s Census, Sparta: Correlating Information

On the Road to Sparta. Frédéric Boissonnas. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Understanding the lives of our ancestors’ entails a fascinating exploration of photos, documents and stories. Who they were, how they lived, and what they experienced becomes real to us when we can find, and then analyze, any and all available materials.

Our search become easier as more documents from Greece become available online at MyHeritage and Greek Ancestry. A new collection, the 1856 Farmer Census, has recently been released on Greek Ancestry. Sandwiched between the voter lists of 1840s and 1870s, it is an important collection. It willverify our ancestor’s residence; reveal people who were “missed” or were too young to be enumerated in 1840; and alert us to seek for specific men in the 1870s voter lists. The collection bridges a critical gap of 30-40 years during a time when records were scarce in the new country of Greece.

The 1856 Farmer Census is country-wide and includes the areas of: Aitoloakarnania, Arcadia, Argolida, Euboea, Evrytania, the Cyclades islands, Lakonia, Messinia, the Sporades Islands, Voiotia, Achaia (Patra), Ileia (Pyrgos), Fokida (Amfissa) and Fthiotida (Lamia). The collection totals over 85,000 records. Its information provides the farmer’s age, marital status, number of family members in household, nativity/residence in the village, and father’s initial. However, information varies according to municipality; records for Spartan villages do not include the farmer’s age or father’s initial.

Compare, Contrast and Correlate Zacharakis Families

I used the Farmer’s Census to compare, contrast and correlate information for my Zacharakis ancestors in the village of Theologos, Lakonia. The 1844 Voter List has 4 Zacharakis men; the 1856 Farmers Census has 4; the 1872 Voter List has 8.

Panagiotis Dimitrios Zacharakis, born about 1810
1844 Voter List: name Zacharakakos, age 34, peasant/farmer, native
1856 Farmer Census: name Zacharakos, age 46, farmer, married, native, 4 people in household
1872 Voter List: name Zacharakis, age 62, farmer, father: Dimitrios

Theodoros Zacharakis, born about 1812
1844 Voter List: name: Zacharakakis, age 32, peasant/farmer, native
1856 Farmer Census: not listed
1872 Voter List: not listed
Died before 1868; not listed in the 1856 or 1872 lists, assume death prior to 1856

Georgios Dimitrios Zacharakis, born about 1802
1844 Voter List: name: Zacharakakis, age 42, farmer, native
1856 Farmer Census: name: Zacharakakos, age 52, farmer, married, native, 7 people in household
1872 Voter List: not listed but is named as father

Dimitrios Nikolaos Zacharakis, born about 1832
1844 Voter List: not listed (too young)
1856 Farmer Census: name: Zacharakos, father: N, age: 24, farmer, married, native; 3 people in household
1872 Voter List: not listed

Anastasios Theodoros Zacharakis, born about 1838
1844 Voter List: not listed (too young)
1856 Farmer Census: name: Zacharakos, age: 21, farmer, single, native, 7 people in family
1872 Voter List: name: Zacharakis, age 34, farmer, father: Theodoros

Compare, Contrast and Correlate Village of Socha

Below is a comparison of information for the village of Socha, Lakonia as found in two different types of 1856 census collections, one ecclesiastical and one government:  the 1856 Parish Census conducted by the church, and the 1856 Farmer’s Census conducted by the municipality.

The Parish Census lists 55 families; and the Farmer Census lists 25 of which 12 are also in the Parish Census. The Parish Census gives the wife’s name, the Farmer’s does not. The Farmer’s has nativity and occupation; the Parish does not.

A few examples:

Christos Arniotis
Farmer: Christos Arniotis of Socha, farmer, married, native, # in family: 7
Parish: Christos Arniotis of Socha, wife: Panagiota; male children: 7; female children: 1; total in family including parents: 10

Dimos Asimakopoulos
Farmer: Dimos Asimakopoulos of Socha, farmer, married, native, total number in family: 3
Parish: Dimos Asimakospoulos; wife: Maria; male children: 2, female children: 1, total in family including parents: 5

Panagiotis Maniakis or Maniatakos
Farmer: Panag. Maniakis; occupation: farmer; married; native; number in family: 2
Parish: Panag. Maniatakos; wife: Panagiota; male children: 1, female children: 1, total in family including parents: 4

Female Heads of Households
The Farmer’s Census does not list women, but the Parish Census lists female heads of households, all of whom are widows. In Soha, 9 out of 55 people (16%) are are widows while only one man is a widower. That statistic is a fascinating demographic peek into the community!

Maria, widow Kourakos; male children: 4; female children: 1; total in family: 6

Poli, widow Pavlounis; male children: 2; female children: 2; total in family: 5

Petros Minakakos, widower, two male children, two female children, total in family: 4 [math error, should be 5]

By correlating various collections, a more complete representation of the individual and his family emerges. Different records were created for different reasons; therefore, they ask different questions and collect different information. That is why we must vigorously pursue obaining any and all records which can be found. We must also remain open to the possiblity that new information may dispell or disprove our previous theories. Such is the ever-evolving nature of research.


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